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Presbytery Assembly Wrestles With How Fast is Too Fast

We had a wildly successful Zoom meeting of the Presbytery Assembly on June 13th.  Special thanks go to Jeff Mague who observed another Assembly and taught the team of Shaunda, Carrie, and Tom, and in turn the presbytery how to conduct a meeting online.

By far the discernment that the Assembly struggled with the most came up in the Property, Finance, Funds Development, and Investment committee report.  The Session and Congregation of the Community Presbyterian Church of Cathedral City (CPCCC) wanted to put their campus including Sanctuary and attached buildings on the market, move to a new location and use the proceeds of the sale to hire a residential “redevelopment pastor” for five years.  The discussion was whether this was too quick and if losing property would be irretrievable and harm their ministry and others that nest there.  We heard all sides, including from two elders that were representing CPCCC and considered the timing of the Mission Assessment Process (MAP) which will be conducted this summer.  On a very close vote, the discernment was made to not approve the sale of the property at this time and to reconsider it in the September Assembly.

We learned that Partners in Ministry is making available up to $5,000 grants to each Session to deal with the Covid-19 virus.  That could be in the form of purchasing videoing or streaming equipment or reaching out to members and the community in new ways.

We elected many persons to the commissions/committees and teams of the presbytery and gave our condolences to Pastor Martin Smith who lost his father to Covid-19.  Holy Conversations are starting up in the presbytery as continues the Vital Congregations Initiative (VCI) cohorts with 9 congregations involved in the first-year study of who they are and what God is calling them to be.  Non-VCI clergy cohorts (2) also are meeting.

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